ACEPHALOI

John I

JOHN I Surnamed Hemula, saint and twenty-ninth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (494-503). As a former monk from the monastery of Saint Macarius (DAYR ANBA MAQAR), he marks the beginning of the choice of patriarchs from the desert monasteries rather than from the learned clergy of Alexandria. According to the HISTORY OF THE …

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Barsanuphians

BARSANUPHIANS One of several Alexandrian splinter groups of those Monophysites who, because they had rejected the communion of their patriarch, were known as Acephaloi (headless). They separated themselves from the Jacobites in the latter part of the fifth century under Emperor Zeno. In the patriarchate of ALEXANDER II (705-730), John of Sa converted the Barsanuphians …

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Damian

DAMIAN The thirty-fifth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (569-605). (Some sources list the beginning of his reign as 578.) He was contemporary to four Byzantine emperors, Justin II (565-578), Tiberius II (578-582), Maurice (582-602), and Phocas (602-610). During their reigns, the Byzantine rulers were distracted from the imposition of the Chalcedonian profession of …

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Henoticon

HENOTICON A fifth-century imperial edict that was one of the basic statements of imperial theology and ecclesiastical policy of the early Byzantine period. It is the name given to the instrument of union addressed by Emperor ZENO to the “bishops, clergy, monks and laity throughout Alexandria and Egypt and Libya and Pentapolis” in 482. Its …

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Mark II, Saint

MARK II, SAINT A forty-ninth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (799-819) (feast day: 22 Baramudah). He was an important patriarch, a fascinating individual, a master preacher, and an eminent Coptic writer. Mark’s life was closely associated with that of his predecessor, JOHN IV. As a deacon in Alexandria, he became John’s disciple and …

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Acephaloi

ACEPHALOI Extremist anti-Chalcedonians in Egypt who refused to recognize the Alexandrian patriarchs who accepted the HENOTICON. They first appear in history in 482 as Egyptian monks who opposed PETER III MONGUS’s rapprochement with Constantinople (Zacharias Rhetor Historia ecclesiastica 6. 2). Their name denoted their community of purpose without the need of a personal leader, and …

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